Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer ATR logged record revenues of $1.4 billion and delivered 54 airplanes last year, the company announced during its annual press conference in Paris today. The performance marked the second straight year the company delivered more than 50 airplanes. ATR registered firm orders for 40 new aircraft and options on another 17 last year, compared with 42 and 14, respectively, in 2008.
AvCraft Support Services and Colombia’s Indaer Industrial Aeronautica last month announced the formation of a joint venture to provide heavy maintenance on ATR 42s and 72s at AvCraft’s Myrtle Beach, S.C. facilities.
Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) is a little over a year away from completing certification of the new -600 version of its ATR 72 twin turboprop, with the smaller ATR 42-600 due to follow just a few months later in early 2011. Despite the slow sales environment in the air transport sector, the European airframer has been able to log 54 orders for the 70-seat ATR 72 and seven for the 50-seat ATR 42 from eight customers in seven countries.
Bombardier and ATR each announced orders for a pair of turboprops last month, the Canadian manufacturer from Papua New Guinea’s Air Niugini for NextGen Q400s and the Franco-Italian airframe maker from Libyan Airlines for ATR 42-500s. The Q400 order included an option on a single airplane of the same type. Air Niugini’s fleet now consists of three 26-seat Q200s and three 50-seat Q300s.
Franco-Italian regional aircraft maker ATR last month presented to the public the ATR 72-600 during a ceremony in Toulouse, France, where it also confirmed progress on its work with engine makers on a 90- to 100-seat turboprop. Despite the cancellation of orders for 22 aircraft this year, ATR maintains a three-year delivery backlog. The -600 series has drawn orders for fifty-four 72s and five 42s by seven customers.
ATR late in August announced that the ATR 72-600 regional turboprop made its first flight on July 24 in Toulouse, France, seven months after the first power-on test. The test program calls for 150 flight hours, and certification is pegged for next year. The maiden flight of the ATR 42-600 has slipped into 2010. It will mark the start of a 75-hour flight-test campaign for the smaller version.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) for ATR cockpit windows.
As Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR readies for the first flight of its new 600 Series this month, the company finds itself in a “comfortable position” by virtue of a backlog of 162 airplanes worth some $3 billion–“pretty much the largest [the company] has achieved in the program,” according to ATR senior vice president John Moore. Still, Moore didn’t deny the difficulty ATR has encountered selling airplanes in North America.
Franco-Italian regional turboprop maker ATR continued to defy predictions for a tepid sales showing at Le Bourget yesterday when it inked a purchase contract for 10 of its new ATR 72-600s with Spain’s Air Nostrum and another firm order with Royal Air Maroc for four ATR 72-600s and a pair of smaller 42-600s.
Royal Air Maroc is one of the most recent customers to sign up for the new 600 Series of ATR-42s and ATR-72s being developed by Avions de Transport Regional. The new aircraft is due to make its first flight next month as the French-Italian manufacturer heads for projected certification in the second half of 2010.